One of the main focuses of the Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs) is, and always has been, outreach. RALO leaders and staff work hard together to ensure that organizations or associations across the world with similar goals to those of the ICANN community know about At-Large and are motivated to be part of it. In order to manage this, they need to gain the At-Large Structure (ALS) status.
At a glance
Following two recent ALS accreditations, the At-Large community has reached a milestone in its membership with a total of 190 At-Large Structures. ALSes make up the backbone of At-Large and more specifically of the Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs). A sharp increase in demand for At-Large Structures has been triggered in part by last year's second At-Large Summit (ATLAS II) and by efficient community/staff collaboration toward effective outreach.
Given the large number of recent At-Large members, a new on-boarding initiative targeted at new ALSes and individual members is launching. This on-boarding program consists of a series of webinars and tools that will facilitate the process of engaging in the At-Large community.
Two new organizations became ALSes:
The High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths became part of AFRALO on 22 May 2015. The organization's mission is to become a leading capacity building center in information technology for the development of women and youth in Nigeria. Dr. Wunmi Hassan, CEO of the High Tech Centre, is well known in the African region and in the telecommunications industry. Other than her role in promoting access to ICT for Nigerian women and youth, she also evaluated in her PhD research Nigeria's Information Technology Policy of 2001. Her results provided input to the reform and convergence of the major ICT institutions in the country, culminating in the Communications Technology Ministry of Nigeria today.
ISOC Zimbabwe joined AFRALO on 22 May 2015. ISOC Zimbabwe promotes the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout Zimbabwe. The chapter achieves this through fostering an environment for international cooperation, as well as serving as a focal point for cooperative efforts to promote the Internet as a positive tool throughout Zimbabwe.
Many potential ALSes are currently in the accreditation pipeline, either undergoing Due Diligence (ISOCUganda) or being voted on by members of the ALAC (IEEE Nicaragua).
At-Large Staff, in collaboration with the RALO leaders, is also delighted to begin implementing a new on-boarding program for At-Large Structures in the short-term, followed by an expansion of the capability to all new At-Large members in the long-term. The emphasis of this new program is on effective engagement and on favoring interaction between newcomers, staff, and RALO leadership.
A series of on-boarding webinars will take place several times a year. The first webinar will be informal allowing the opportunity for new ALSes and staff to interact and get to know more about one another. The second webinar will seek to promote activity between the new ALSs and their RALO leadership. A Skype chat "helpline" will also start shortly allowing new ALSes to converse directly with staff for a determined period of time, and where questions can be asked freely. Added to these efforts, staff is taking a close look at the documents currently provided to new ALSes, evaluating which areas can be improved to trigger further interest from our newest members.